7 Memorial Day Marketing Ideas to Boost Engagement and Sales

illustration of a yellow cooler next to a red, white, and blue popsicle, a blue vase with a red flower and a small American flag, and a smart phone with a hotdog in a chat bubble
Posted in
SMS Marketing
Published on
Apr 29, 2024
Written by
Kayla Ellman
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Borrow one (or some) of these strategies to drive more revenue for your brand over the long weekend.

The unofficial kickoff to summer is just a few weeks away. Memorial Day—which falls on May 27 this year—is the perfect opportunity to engage your customers, promote seasonal products, and clear out excess inventory to make room for new items and collections.

Consumers will be taking advantage of this long weekend to go to the beach, barbecue with their loved ones, and, of course, shop for summer essentials. In fact, 93% of intended celebrators expect to buy something for Memorial Day.

Here are some ideas for using this major marketing holiday to capture your customers' attention and inspire them to shop for the season ahead.

1. Spark engagement with limited-time offers

Memorial Day text message examples from ELEMIS on a light blue background

Luxury skincare brand ELEMIS encouraged customers to stock up on their favorite products for the summer with a sitewide flash sale. The limited-time promotion also included a bonus offer: the potential to earn a free gift with purchases over a certain dollar amount.

To take a page from their playbook, consider launching your sale the week before Memorial Day to build excitement and drive early purchases. Then, use segmentation to send reminders to any subscribers who haven't engaged with or converted from the initial announcement. (You should know: AI Pro optimizes who you're targeting in every campaign by recognizing subscribers at a higher rate and adjusting your audience accordingly. It'll add in high-intent shoppers you might've missed while excluding those who are unlikely to buy. Learn more about the tool set here.)

Since National Sunscreen Day (May 27) also usually lands around the long holiday weekend, ELEMIS decided to use it as an opportunity to drive even more traffic and purchases. They sent out a second campaign, specifically highlighting their selection of sunscreens, with a call to action to use the Memorial Day discount code.

2. Let your VIPs kick off the festivities first

Memorial Day text message examples from Liquid I.V. on a light blue background

Liquid I.V. went all out for Memorial Day, knowing that with summer approaching, people would need to stay hydrated. Their popular electrolyte drink mixes are already the perfect product to promote, but they also offered customers a generous 25% discount to stock up on their favorite flavors.

Rather than announcing the offer to everyone at once, the brand gave their VIP shoppers a full 24 hours of early access. (Keep in mind: You can define your VIP audience however you want. Rewards members, frequent buyers, big spenders, or any other loyalty criteria that makes sense for your brand.) 

It may seem like a simple gesture, but early access to sales is one of the easiest and most effective ways to show your most loyal customers how much you value them. By letting them shop before everyone else, they have a much better chance of getting the items they want—without the frustration of popular items selling out.

3. Drive list growth (and sales) with a timely sign-up unit

Memorial Day SMS sign-up unit from DW home on a light blue background

Just like any major marketing holiday, you can expect an influx of visitors to your website around Memorial Day as people search for the best deals they can find. To make the most of this increased traffic, consider creating a special sign-up unit that captures the attention of these shoppers and converts them into email and SMS subscribers

DW Home launched their Memorial Day sign-up unit early to tease their upcoming offers. That way, the candle company could incentivize opt-ins by promising to alert SMS subscribers first when the deals drop—and use their welcome message to confirm early access. 

Once your sale is in full swing, update your sign-up unit again to highlight your Memorial Day discount and drive even more opt-ins.

4. Maximize revenue with “last chance” reminders 

Memorial Day SMS and email example from Kodiak Cakes on a light blue background

Kodiak Cakes used bookending to maximize revenue on the final day of their Memorial Day sale. The basic principle behind this strategy is to build campaigns with a beginning, middle, and end, to take advantage of every possible conversion opportunity

Start by sending out a teaser or announcement message to get people interested. Follow-up with non-buyers a few times throughout the sale to nudge them toward making a purchase. And wrap up your promotions with one last message when there are "only hours left" in the sale, letting your subscribers know it’s their “last chance to save.”

If you really want to get the most out of this strategy, make sure you're sending follow-up messages across both email and SMS based on subscribers' engagement. So, for example, if they don't open a text message, try sending them an email next. 

5. Help customers prep for their Memorial Day parties

Memorial Day text message examples from Rastelli's and Ritual Zero Proof on a light blue background

Cookouts are a popular activity during Memorial Day weekend, and your customers who are gearing up to host will appreciate a helping hand in bringing everything together. From essential barbecue supplies to snacks, drinks, and other party provisions, make sure to showcase how your products can make party planning a breeze as the long weekend approaches. 

Premium meat and seafood delivery company Rastelli's reminded customers to get their orders in before the shipping deadline, to make sure they would have plenty of burgers to go around. 

Meanwhile, Ritual Zero Proof decided to celebrate with an additional discount on their Bar Cart Bundle for anyone looking to stock up on non-alcoholic spirits—party or no party. 

By launching your promotions early and anticipating your customers' needs, you can make sure they receive their orders well in advance and avoid any last-minute planning stress. 

6. Inspire purchases with styling tips and recommendations

Memorial Day text message eaxmples from Zestt and The Normal Brand on a light blue background

As the weather warms up, we all start thinking about swapping out our cozy sweaters and jackets for lighter, more breathable layers. And since many consumers eagerly await Memorial Day sales to shop for summer clothing, it's the ideal time to engage them with trendy and seasonally appropriate recommendations.

Zestt, an organic cotton clothing boutique, delighted their audience with summer styling tips and outfit inspiration around Memorial Day. They put their best-selling 3-in-1 scarf on display with a fun GIF showing different ways to wear it. They also included a direct link to the product page, making it easy for customers to click through and buy the scarf for themselves. 

The Normal Brand took a similar approach, promoting their latest arrivals and encouraging people to add a few new items to their wardrobes, just in time for the annual barbecues they might be hosting or attending.  

7. Use your triggered messages to create a sense of urgency 

Memorial Day sale triggered message example from Beachwaver

Timing is everything when it comes to abandonment messages—they can be the gentle nudge someone needs to come back and finish checking out. But during a major sale or promotion, you can make these reminders even more impactful by using them to emphasize the limited-time nature of your offer.

When you tell high-intent shoppers that they only have a few precious days (or hours) left to get everything in their cart—and at an incredible discount—you create a sense of urgency that motivates them to click through and make a purchase before it's too late.

Beachwaver, a popular curling iron brand, did exactly that to boost engagement and revenue during their Memorial Day sale. They strategically updated their abandonment journeys to highlight the final day to get 40% off their entire site. It's a simple yet effective approach that incentivizes customers to shop immediately, while they can still take advantage of the great deal.

Pro tip: AI Journeys takes care of everything for you. It automatically tailors your triggered messages based on each subscriber's changing behavior, so no two subscribers get the same message. From the ideal timing to the content itself, every aspect is personalized to drive the highest engagement possible. Learn more and join the waitlist here

Need more inspiration for Memorial Day and beyond? Our 2024 Marketing Campaign Calendar is filled with tips and templates for key dates in the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada. You can also explore our SMS gallery, Texts We Love.

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